Re: re. Report on how kids can't write well

Subject: Re: re. Report on how kids can't write well
From: "Bonni J. Graham" <bgraham -at- ELECTRICITI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 1994 21:39:44 PST

I taught writing at a writing-across-the-curriculum school in San Diego (the
same one I'm trying to get my step-kid into right now). In this school,
everybody wrote -- History, English, Physics, Biology, Auto Shop, PE,
etc.). The students (and some of the teachers) were amazed that we (the
Writing Center staff) graded down for grammar and spelling mistakes. "But
it's so creative!" one teacher (yes, teacher) whined. "But it's not
written in English, or any other recognizable written language," I
replied. It was amazing how fast things like basic grammar errors cleared
up when we began grading based on it and, of course, giving extra tutoring
to students when it was clear they really didn't know (as opposed to the
ones who didn't care -- and yes, you could tell). There need to be
consequences for poor performance before the performance will improve.

Amazingly enough, it was, at least in the majority of the cases I worked
with, not that they didn't know how to write (I defy anyone to understand a
paragraph of my unspellchecked writing -- I can't TYPE worth beans), but
that they didn't know how to EDIT...

Bonni Graham
Manual Labour
Director, Region 8 Conference
bgraham -at- electriciti -dot- com

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